Prof. Viktor Frankl (1905-1997), clinical psychiatrist and neurologist, mapped out that regardless of circumstances, any catastrophe can be transformed into triumph. When both bestowed with the gift of freedom of Will and burdened with responsibility, we choose our attitude towards current happenings and our actions to deal with them, manifesting at any point who we want to be: victim or co-creator of our Lives. Based on a three-dimensional concept of Man (physical – psychological – spiritual), we can struggle both physically and mentally with severe suffering and existential issues, but yet face them dignifiedly by learning to distinguish the unchangeable fatal, from the do-able possible.
All his life V. Frankl was taken by the question Why does one stay healthy?. Years before his deportation to a concentration camp during Would War two, he got to the core of a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche: He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.
How stands for the given facts and circumstances, “the blow of fate” which is to be accepted. Why encompasses the individual spiritual value, the meaningful worth striving for, e.g. for the sake of another human being, a philosophical or religious conviction, a task yet unfinished. This motive of meaning does not overwhelm but inspires and carries through the How. He who answers a problematic request of his existence with a specific “Yes to life, in spite of everything“ and does not deny or ignore the task, find support in their stance (=Haltung). Thus we come to realize the indestructibility of our dignity, gain self-knowledge and develop self-actualisation.